Our Spring concert will be Handel’s Samson oratorio, performed with Musica Poetica on period instruments, at All Saints West Dulwich on Saturday April 28 at 7.30 pm. Soloists will be Fflur Wyn soprano, Caitlin Hulcup mezzo soprano, Rubert Charlesworth tenor, Ben Bevan baritone and Tim Dickinson bass. Conductor: Aidan Oliver.
Tickets are available via the booking button on the right hand side of this screen, or on the door.
Handel started writing Samson as soon as he had finished the Messiah in 1741 and the oratorio was given its premiere at the Covent Garden Theatre in February 1743: its immediate success with the public led to a run of a further seven performances. It was one of Handel’s most popular works during his lifetime, and it has remained a firm favourite in the musical canon ever since.
Based on John Milton’s poem Samson Agonistes, and the Biblical story recounted in the Book of Judges, the story was adapted by librettist Newburgh Hamilton to give it the dramatic structure appropriate to the oratorio. The story encapsulates Samson’s transformation from a defeated Israelite hero, blinded and in chains, to a triumphant leader taking on the worshippers of Dagon.
Our musical director Aidan Oliver, who has led the choir since 2006, is one of the U.K.’s leading choral conductors. As director of Philharmonia Voices he works with the Philharmonia Orchestra on many of their most high-profile projects, including numerous concerts and broadcasts from the Royal Festival Hall.
He is in high demand as a guest chorus master, working with groups including the BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Singers, English National Opera and Huddersfield Choral Society, with whom he recently directed a CD of British choral classics.
Dulwich Choral Society, formed in 1944, is a thriving, friendly, auditioned choir that performs at least three concerts a year, including two with professional orchestras and top-class soloists. As well as giving concerts in the Dulwich area, the choir has performed more widely in central London and abroad, and a choir tour to southern Italy is planned for October of this year.
Since 1998 the choir has undertaken tours to Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Germany and Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina; in 2014 the choir continued this tradition with a four day visit to Portugal, performing in Sintra and Lisbon, while in 2016 our singers visited Spain, focusing on the area around Madrid. Closer to home the choir performs in several of the beautiful churches in and around Dulwich, and enjoys a strong local following. If you would like to support the choir, you can find details of our Friends and Patrons scheme here.
Major recent concerts have included Beethoven’s Mass in C at All Saints, Dulwich in December 2017, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at Cadogan Hall in March 2017, Haydn’s Creation in Dulwich in October 2016 and the world premier of Jonathan Dove’s Arion and the Dolphin in the presence of the composer in March 2016. The choir has also recently performed both Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the beautiful surroundings of the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich.